I grew up in rural Colorado, and have spent much of my life trying to justify spending time in the woods. I received a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University in 2011, and got hooked on research while performing honors research on the water use of trembling aspen trees. I went on to study plant ecology with Janneke Hille Ris Lambers at the University of Washington. I received a PhD in Biology from the UW in 2017, with my dissertation focusing on within-species physiological variation and species geographic range constraints. Before joinging EEMB at UCSB, I spent two years as an NSF Biological Collections postdoctoral fellow and two years as a NOAA Climate and Global Change fellow working jointly with Todd Dawson (UC Berkeley) and Joe Berry (Carnegie Institution for Science) studying plant responses to global change through a lens of drought physiology and remote sensing.
My research seeks to scale up the physiological responses of plants to biotic and abiotic stress to explain population level, community level and biogeographic processes. I seek to understand how plants respond physiologically to climatic, biotic, and anthropogenic stresses in order to forecast future ecosystem structure and function. My work asks: How do plants cope with stress? What biophysical and evolutionary constraints define plant stress response strategies? How will multiple stresses affect species geographic ranges, community structure, and ecosystem function? I blend plant physiology and ecology to explain community and ecosystem processes ranging from forest mortality to tree biogeography to global photosynthesis.